By Taylor Wildlife, May 15 2017 05:32PM

They came out of nowhere it seemed. Speed, agility and parental instinct, all coming together to act to ensue territorial victory. Hugging the rugged cliff top fringes, the mist and ominous sky created a scene which could have, and might add, should have been broadcasted on the television in a natural history documentary. Poor weather prevented formal surveys on Monday, but we were in for a birding treat nonetheless. Appearing through the grey cover, an adult White-tailed Eagle came into view. The master of the sky was not alone, it was being pursued by a pair of protective Peregrine Falcons. The pair plummeted, twisted and pushed the mighty bird of the mountains up into the dense unknown, making every moment of watching tantalising. A day off from bird watching…never! And why would you when one has the chance to witness marvels such as this every day.


Well, I thought that Monday’s encounter was special, but Thursday brought another first. They were only specks in the distance at first, gradually advancing across the surface of the loch. Rising from the surface, the morning raise of the sun revealed the birds’ identity. Osprey. There was a stampede from the kitchen as I rushed in and exclaimed my sighting. Working, no this is one terrific holiday.

What a view to finish the day!
What a view to finish the day!
A hunting osprey
A hunting osprey

By Taylor Wildlife, May 8 2017 05:30PM

As the birds revered for stamina arrive, so too has our own. After three weeks of challenging surveying, our legs, feet and minds are strong; walking further, faster and for me anyway, straighter! Living and working in the Scottish Highlands is just magic. Waking to the sound of a calling cuckoo, drumming snipe and shouts of “ quick, quick, there’s a red squirrel in the garden!”, is definitely not being taken for granted.

By Taylor Wildlife, May 1 2017 05:34PM

A nomadic existence has two sides. One, being able to revel in the beauty of nature. Two, the slow but definite emergence of blisters. No one has managed to escape the puffy sore feeling which goes hand-in-hand when the bane of hill walking makes their appearance on the heels and tips of your toes, gradually expanding in all dimensions. For most, visiting the Isle of Mull in the Inner Hebrides was something new to experience. Being able to venture right into the very heart of the island to conduct surveys, granted us all spectacular views of both Golden and White-tailed Eagles. Simply stunning.

From the very heart of Mull
From the very heart of Mull
The mighty Field Assistants returning from the Isle of Mull
The mighty Field Assistants returning from the Isle of Mull

By Taylor Wildlife, Apr 24 2017 05:00PM

This week has certainly been an insight into the changeable weather conditions which Scotland can produce. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday there was a chorus of “let it snow, let it snow, let it snooooow” and then on Thursday and Friday the hills came alive with “the sun has got his hat hip hip hip hurray!”. There was a Short-eared owl sighting and glimpses Merlin and Hen Harrier.

Snowed Off Field Assistants
Snowed Off Field Assistants

By Taylor Wildlife, Apr 18 2017 05:00PM

Training began bright and early on an estate in Angus, completely entranced by the sights and sounds of my new surroundings. Having never visited Scotland before, the scenery completely took my breath away. For many of this year’s new recruits, the Brown & Shepherd survey technique was something new to master. A short indoor theory session was followed by an outdoor activity designed to test our navigating ability, bird identification and most of all our fitness. More like disorientated lowland rabbits than athletic mountain hares with Satnavs, traversing the heather hillside was slow but nonetheless educational, allowing us to get to grips with our personal GPS’s for the season and test the toughness of our feet… if feet could make vocalisations, then mine would certainly be yelling! By late afternoon expectations were clear and I for one was raring to put my training to the test.

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